Hands on with the ZTE Orbit Windows Phone featuring NFC [Video]

Although overshadowed a bit by Nokia today, ZTE who earlier released the Tania has also put out the Orbit which was announced early this morning. The Orbit is yet another low-cost phone presumably for emerging markets and East Asia though the company has expressed interest in coming to the US and Europe as well.

The Orbit features a new Qualcomm processor to Windows Phone: the Qualcomm MSM7227A-1 which is described as a "low cost, low voltage" CPU for sub-$150 devices. In addition, here are the other specs just released:

  • EDGE 900/1800/1900
  • HSDPA 900/2100, DPA 7.2Mbps
  • RAM 256MB, User 4GB
  • 4-inch, WVGA (800x480), 65K colour, TFT, capacitive
  • 5MP AF/flash camera
  • GPS, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 2.1 + A2DP
  • Accelerator, compass, proximity light
  • DLNA, NFC, FOTA, HD Voice, Dual Mic, FM Radio

Interestingly the press release from ZTE notes that it has 512MB of RAM but we confirmed that this is a 256MB device as seen in our pics below. The phone has the same nice feel as the Tania including a slick chrome finish. The screen is a little washed for our liking but we're a bit spoiled with Nokia ClearBlack, Samsung Super AMOLED+ and HTC's S-LCD.

The unit we played with clearly has some work yet to be done on it, including some issues with the touch-capacitive buttons and camera (which didn't work) but we'll chalk that up to early prototype problems. Overall the Orbit is a unique phone with a custom-OEM pink Accent color. No other "custom UI" changes were noted with this review unit nor any NFC apps to take advantage of the NFC hardware that this supposedly sports.

The OS was an interesting build 8755 which probably classifies as "Tango" though from what we understand there is no Tango-proper build of the OS yet and OEMs aren't even referring to it with that name. Either way, clearly ZTE is betting that Windows Phone has a chance and we're impressed with their design even if the hardware is a little on the low side--we think they're a company to watch.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • look really nice for low end device if this is the design of low end from zte what will be the high end look like 
    it look much better than htc radar
  • Its going to be tough to compete with the 610.
  • Can't watch the video here at work but I see version 8755 in one of the pics...  Did you find any new features? And with a reread, you mention it but I didn't notice mention of changes noticed.
  • No changes noted but will look some more.
  • To bad the video quality is bad :-( Love the WP Central app and don't use anything else, but video quality is horrible
  • We shot in 1080p with a dslr, not sure what else we can do...
  • You have to you use WiFi to get better quality.
  • I'm very sure that "pink" is not a new OEM color.  Samsung Focus S has it--unless this is a different shade?  The overwhelming blue cast in the top picture doesn't help the situation.
  • That chrome ring around the perimeter is reminiscent of the HTC Tilt 2.
  • Yep, thought the same thing when I saw it. Looks similar to the Tilt 2.
  • I love the chrome ring-excellent touch.
  • Do you think Huweii will come to the WP side or do they dislike ZTE that much?
  • Seems as if they're out.